The 5 Worst NBA Players of the 2016 Season
Do you ever feel like, as a society, all we hear about is negative news?
I don't know about you, but I do. It seems like, every time I turn on my local news station, it's bad news. It's hard to bear sometimes.
But, thankfully, as sports fans and sports writers, we tend to focus more on the positives. For example, this year a wide majority of coverage has been on the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry's ridiculous season or the Spurs' timeless place among the NBA's elite.
If you're looking for that here, I apologize. As far as NBA coverage goes, you can consider this negative news -- or sports crime of sorts -- because these players have been flat out awful.
According to our nERD (a measure of a player's overall contribution over the course of a season, based on efficiency) metric, these are the five worst players of the NBA season -- or as I'd like to call them, this year's NBA Fools.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Denver Nuggets
Emmanuel Mudiay's rookie season has been one of the least efficient seasons ever recorded. His nERD ranks him last in the Association and is the worst score since 2000. Mudiay is shooting 35.3% from the floor and is turning the ball over 3.2 times per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio is just 1.7 to 1 as he's failed to show signs of hope -- save just one -- for a Nuggets franchise desperately in need of it.
Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
I'm sure this isn't the type of send-off Kobe Bryant imagined years ago. He's part of the league's second-worst team, per our numbers, and has been wildly inefficient over the course season, posting career worsts in field goal percentage (35.5%), Win Shares (-0.6) and Value Over Replacement Player (-0.4). Sure, he's had his moments, but not even the finest wine can keep a guy forever young.
D'Angelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
If we've learned one thing this week, it's that D'Angelo Russell is young. He's exactly 19 years young and, as might be expected of someone his age, has made a lot of mistakes in this his rookie season. Russell is turning the ball over 3.1 times per 36 minutes while dishing out 1.2 more assists in that same timeframe. And despite glimpses of outstanding talent, he hasn't shown that he can be a true NBA point guard or leader of this Lakers team.
Mudiay has certainly had the worst first year, in terms of statistics, but Russell has had without a doubt the rudest awakening to the NBA game.
Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls
Admittedly, Derrick Rose hasn't had the worst season of his career by any means. After all, he has managed to get through a majority of the season healthy. I wish that was enough though. Rose is shooting a mediocre 42.9% from the floor and connecting on fewer than one three-point make on 2.3 attempts per contest. He's been even worse on the defensive end of the floor, as he's posting his worst Defensive Rating (109) since the 2009-10 season.
On the bright side, it is pretty cool that he finally did this again.
Markieff Morris, PF, Washington Wizards
To say it was a rough start to the season for Markieff Morris would be an understatement. He was stuck on a Phoenix team he no longer wanted to be a part of, after the team shipped his twin brother, Marcus Morris, off to Detroit over the summer and ignored his requests to be traded. As a result, Morris' play suffered, as he shot career-lows of 39.7% from the field and 28.9% from three with the Suns.
Since being traded to the Wizards at this year's trade deadline, Morris has been marginally better. But, before he even got to Washington, it appeared that he had already thrown in the towel.
Markieff Morris arrived in DC with a restraining order to stay a towel's throw away from Randy Wittman
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 19, 2016